Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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Even more striking if possible is the fact that the term for overseer, inspector or superintendent is literally translated in the New Testament as Bishop and they were the sons of Aaron who the overseers, inspectors and superintendents

It all depends on the “dio della fortuna”, the god of fortune, said Professor Giovanni Pettinato, one of the original participants in the dig of the mound ruin of Tell Mardikh in Syria, which eventually was identified as the ancient City of EBLA. He recalled that almost 10 years after the University of Rome started the excavations in 1964, the excavators were within three feet of a library room, but were not alerted to it by a single tablet. They had gone on digging for nearly ten years before hitting the royal archive. The first tablets were scarce and few, only 42 of them were uncovered in the 1974 season. Within another ten years over 20,000 texts would be recovered from more than 16,000 tablets.  At that time four thousand more tablets still remained in 23 crates waiting to be cataloged, let alone read. And the excavators were digging for more. How many more? They had no idea. And the digging continues. What is presented in this series of studies is only taken from translated tablets as of 1984 and 1998. The parallels to the Book of Mormon names are astounding. And there is more to come. They were still finding tablets after the count got to 42,000. 

Paulo Matthae, the early Italian excavator who had been digging for ten years at Tell Mardikh, later identified as ancient EBLA, was quoted in Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR), that “Nothing we have found can affect the historicity of the patriarchs.”  Until then nothing found at EBLA either proves or disproves the historical accounts in the Old Testament. Most of the accounts [of the patriarchs] are in Genesis. (Wilson p. 11) But, now more than 40 years later, much more can be said, and as noted in this entry in the Web Series, names in the ancient accounts of the Patriarchal stories are confirmed to be real and ancient just as Book of Mormon names are found to be real and ancient. The Epic of Atrahasis has recently been translated with its Creation and Flood accounts. “When we compare these versions with the Bible record, it becomes clear that the Bible is infinitely superior.” (Wilson p. 49) And also older, instead of the Biblical accounts being derived from early traditions depicted in the tablets, it may be the reverse is the real case. The Pearl of Great Price is one answer to the questions, and infinitely in favor of early accounts from which apostate peoples developed related and similar stories.  
Like the sensationalizing publicity surrounding the early publications of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the EBLA team emphasized that the EBLA tablets should not be hailed as the ultimate in unlocking all the mysteries of Near Eastern antiquities  Claims that the Dead Sea Scrolls would destroy the foundations of Christianity have been proven to be untrue. Actually, the Dead Sea Scrolls have more to say about doctrines only found in the revelations of the restoration. A number of CD’s address this and some of the studies of this series as well. (Erickson, 9 Aug 2004)  Detailed studies of both discoveries have proven productive for the confirming of Mormon Doctrine and especially the verification of the reality and antiquity of the nearly 337 unusual names found in the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is fiction, there should be no parallels on the tablets of EBLA, or tablets from anywhere else for that matter, of the names in the Book of Mormon.  From what is presented in the numerous entries of this Web Site the reader can make up his or her own mind if there are sufficient parallels that confirm Book of Mormon names and if they are real and also fit into the historical picture of the Book of Mormon and the Near East and Egypt.  What is clear is that we now know that in the discoveries at Ebla “a new look at the history of the third millennium BC as revealed by the discovery of a long-lost kingdom of that era….[that allows] the redrawing of the political map for the entire Fertile Crescent of 2500 BC.” (Pettinato p. 5)  It also provides a tremendous source of tablets from which names have been translated that can be compared to the many names of the Book of Mormon. This present series on EBLA and other studies in this series is merely a start.  

The Dead Sea Scrolls spawned a whole new scholarly effort; the same is true of the tablets of EBLA. After all these years, nothing has detracted from the extraordinary importance of either find, and the unbridled enthusiasm for both discoveries continues unabated with scholars today. Working on the tablets of EBLA is most exciting.


This is a very interesting word. It is most applicable to what is being attempted in these studies. When one locates the first appearance of a name in the Book of Mormon and then finds something about the person and then is provided the meaning of the name or the meaning of the essential prefix, or suffix, of that name, and finds and identifies that exact or similar name in the EBLA texts, or any other supporting or related text, that is the simplest form of Prosopography.  Slowly, what is being assembled, is a Who Was Who in the Book of Mormon and a knowledge of ancient sources, cities, lands, kingdoms, or archives, and providing something about the individual, place or things identified, in the conventional sense, and providing etymologies where available; that is what PROSOPOGRAPHY is all about. It is hoped that this approach is interesting, perhaps a little entertaining, and at times surprising. (Radner p. xi)


This is PART 4 of a lengthy study of names recovered from thousands of tablets excavated after 1974 from the ancient City of Ebla. In PART 4 we continue the study by presenting the names beginning with ‘H’.


HAGOTH first appears in the Book of Mormon in Alma 63:5.  He was ‘an exceedingly curious man,” a master shipbuilder who facilitated Nephite migrations northward at about 55 BC. (Alma 63:5-7)  It is not known if HAGOTH was a precipitator or had anything to do with the migration of a “large company of men, even to the amount of five thousand and four hundred men, with their wives and their children, departed out of the land of Zarahemla into the land which was northward.” (Alma 63:4)  Any student of the geography of the Book of Mormon must take into account the details of Alma chapter 63.

Indians of the Southwest such as the Hopi  “recount that the Hopis [called Moki before 1800] crossed the sea during their emergence to this present Fourth World, arriving somewhere on the western coast of Mexico or Central America. They then gradually worked northward to settle in their present homeland in the Four Corners region. The validity of the myth is attested in many ways: the dramatic reenactment of their migratory journey in numerous ceremonials, the many place names of their identified settlements along the way, and the similarity of their rituals to those of the highly civilized peoples of ancient Mesoamerica.” (Pike p. 13, Emphasis is always mine) Their name, Hopitu Shinamum means “the peaceful people”. (Cryer p. 96) In short, Cryer says the word Hopi means ‘people of God’. “They were given this name by Massau, their migration leader.” (Cryer p. 96)  To the Hopi the God Massau “is venerated as the giver and caretaker of life.” (Malotki p. 4) “Their tradition of being a little people of peace began some time before the Great Star appeared in the sky. Their conversion to the peaceful way was signified by an oath of burying their weapon of war deep in the earth. ‘After burying their weapons, they faced their enemies, but would not take up weapons to fight against them. Rather than do this, they would gladly die, and many of them were killed. This made their enemies ashamed and some of the aggressor would join the peaceful Hopi and bury their weapons also’.” (Cryer p. 96) This is an amazing summary of the account of this very circumstance recorded in Alma 24:17-26.  In the brief summary of this ancient account is surprising evidence of the veracity of the Book of Mormon.  All the essential details are accounted for. From what source could the Hopi have developed such a tradition, coupled with their migration histories and origins before that? The time of these events was just before 77 AD, about 22 years later, many of those who participated in these unusual events described in Alma 63, seemed to have migrated northward and preserved their history and origins and peculiar circumstances of their commitment to peace; only they have this tradition. The coincidence and details of events are too great to be discounted.

Supportive data is in the HOPI language. “The HOPI language is a mosaic of many different linguistic stocks, had no curse words in it. Hopis speak a Shoshonean language related to the Ute, Paiutes, Shoshone, Comanche, and the Nahuatl Aztec. These languages are forms of Libyan-Egyptian and Punic [late Phoenician] and are Semitic based.” (Cryer p. 97) “Shoshone is a Uto-Aztecan language, a large and important language family that includes Northern Paiutes, Ute, Serano, HOPI, Papago, Yaqui Tarahumara, Hichol, Aztecan, and many other languages in western America and Mexico.” (Miller p. 3) Dictionaries of these languages are very rare. One useful dictionary has been published by the University of Utah. (Miller p. 105)  The University of Utah also reprinted an excellent text in 1970 that compares twenty of these dialects to show their affinity and closeness. Probably the differences are only due to physical separation and lack of a perpetuating written text. (Steward pp. 274-284)  A more complete and useful dictionary is found in the work by Martineau. (Martineau 1992) When trappers crossed the Mississippi 200 years ago, one of the first languages they encountered was that of the Comanche.  By learning that language they were able to communicate to some degree with most tribes almost to the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes the plains Indians they encountered were the Kiowa, who are related to the HOPI. All were speaking a form of Uto-Aztecan. Most of the above tribes trace in Myth and oral history their origins back to Central America. The languages do not reflect any connection to Siberian, Beringia, or northern Alaska language groups. The data does not support any other interpretation than Central America for most of their origins.

HAGOTH built an exceedingly large ship near the original landing place of the Nephite colony near Bountiful, and launched it into the West Sea [Pacific]. (Alma 83:5)  The ship was filled with people and they sailed northward. Where was there land fall? Where did they colonize and contribute to the building up of the nation?  But HAGOTH does not stop there. All of this was about 50-55 BC. He built OTHER SHIPS.  This man was really dedicated to shipping people out! Where did those ships go? (Alma 63:5)  Then the large, first ship, returns, and is again stocked with people, and seemingly they set sail northward. (Alma 63:7) But they generally have been considered lost in the great West Sea.

Genealogical records now in the Hawaiian Temple record that the Captain of that boat, a man called HAWAIILOA and his wife HUALALAI  had their temple work done along with three children, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, (the present names of the Hawaiian Islands), between 1920 and 1961. They were born in a place called Kaainakaimelemeleakane [America]. I have a copy of the Archive Record with all the pertinent data on it. So the Hawaiian Islands are named after the Captain of the large boat and some of the Islands are named after his children, three of which were only 7 to 10 years old when they left in the Boat. The historical data is contained in a book by one of the ordinance workers, William A. Cole, who submitted much of the genealogical data and had the ordinance work performed; written in 1961. (Cole p. 116)

The story of HAGOTH records that the boat did not return. But HAGOTH continued his enterprises, because he sent out another ship, it sailed forth, no one knew to where, and it did not come back. (Alma 63: 8)  About 53 BC, another group of many people departed northward and no mention is made of their destiny nor were they ever heard of again. (Alma 63:9)  Not long after the last boat was recorded as having departed, the son of Alma, Corianton, who was so severely admonished by his father, (Alma39) having repented after his father’s great chastening one on one confrontation, in fact, he had so changed his life that he could have remained behind and taken up the role of a prophet at the death of Alma,  but instead he chose to go northward in another boat to serve others, (Alma 63:10) apparently having somehow heard from some of the previous adventurers that they needed provisions. So CORIANTON took “provisions unto the people who had gone forth into that land [northward] and the sacred things were conferred upon the son of his brother HELAMAN.” (Alma 63:11) Corianton had so changed his life that he would have been heir to the sacred blessings of a prophet like his father. This entire account of ship after ship going and coming and massive groups of people going north overland, and even a potential prophet, CORIANTON,  going off to help some who had gone north, was prepared and summarized by Alma and one of his sons, HELAMAN, and perhaps by another son, SHIBLON. (Alma 63:17).  The three sons of Alma knew a lot more about these migrations by ship and by land than they bothered to write about, or Mormon abridged the data into the brief statements now in this strange and curious Chapter of the record of Alma. To the Archaeologists and the Geneticist there are possibilities in this information and a stimulation to find some evidence as to where they all went. The HOPI make a claim on the first group, at least, by their oral history recounted once each year, the HAWAIIANS of another group.

It has been reported that “California Indians attribute a large artificial mound of mussel shells and bones of animals, on Point St. George, near San Francisco, to a prehistoric people which they called Hohgates…according to the traditions, the Hohgates were seven strangers, who arrived from the sea and who were the first to build houses in which to lie in that part of the country., they hunted deer, sea lions, and seals. They gather mussels on the nearby rocks, and the traditions runs…they saw a gigantic seal into which they managed to drive a harpoon. The wounded animal fled seaward dragging the boat with it toward the unknown world. At the moment the mariners were about to be engulfed, the seal disappeared and the boat was flung up into the air. Since then, the Hohgates, changed into stars, to return no more.” (Reynolds, p. 320-321)

All of this because of an exceedingly curious man named HAGOTH. No one has really analyzed the significance of Alma Chapter 63. But it was meant to be pondered over or it wouldn’t have been included there. (D&C Sec. 1:37).

The prefix of HAG- in the name HAGOTH  means  'festival’.  In Hebrew, the suffix ending of –OTH means ‘force’. (Mandel p. 417) It is found in several Hebrew names.   The only parallel name from the EBLA list:  HAGl-A-DU means ‘festival of the father’. (Pagan p. 316)  Centuries later in Western Semitic the name HAGGANAIUI still meant ‘Festal’. Centuries later at the time of ASSURBANIPAL, (668-627 BC), (Lehi lived during the ending of this ruler’s life time), (Leick p. 24) there was an individual who had the name HAG(G)ARANU,  with no change in meaning of ‘Festal’. (Baker p. 439)  So the name is ancient, and was transmitted down through the centuries, retaining its essential meaning; it could have been in the Brass Plates, or from the Jaredite Record. Or it may have been incorporated into the Nephite record by Lehi himself because he may have been familiar with such a name current in his day.  

However there is another little known tradition. A Hawaiian family has a unique tradition, recorded in written form about 1880, that [some] early Hawaiian people came south from an Alaska-Canadian region, by boat. They have a chant of thanksgiving for landfall that recalls the Arctic Ocean by name.  The inclusion of this name in the account suggests this is a more recent tradition that continues to be orally modified. Those interested may check into this source:  http://w.w.w.kekoolani.org/pages/l0l9%20Hookmukalani%20Hookumukahanaua%WEB/index.htm.   Since the Hawaiian genetic pool does not contain the AB blood group of the Aleuts, Eskimo, eastern Canadian or Alaskan types, it is interesting to speculate that one of Hagoth’s boats made landfall way to the north, perhaps near the western Canadian or Alaskan rivers,  didn’t like it, and returned south ending up in Hawaii. In this area there are the TLINGIT, HAIDA AND TSIMSHIAN, the main Northwest Indian tribes. They, and others, had learned to subsist on the Ocean. One of their great boats, the YEIL TEIK (Heavenly Spirit), a unique American watercraft, now hangs in the Saint Ocean Hall of the Natural History Museum. (Smithsonian, September 2008)  So perhaps two boats with two different but related peoples were launched by Hagoth and members of these groups reached Hawaii at different times. The group that Cole has been doing the work for is the one that links with the other south Pacific peoples. The Kekoolani family tradition opens another door that needs to be investigated.  To see the wood carvings and wooden halls of these Northwest tribes is to see familiar and similar carvings found in the South Pacific.   

There are a number of unusual names beginning with ‘H’ in the Book of Mormon, but there are few corresponding parallels in the Ebla name lists. Some of them are being found in other discoveries and are being incorporated in the studies entered into this Web Site.


After eight years in the wilderness, the group led by Lehi, finally arrive at a land which they called Bountiful because of its much fruit and honey, the jump off point for their departure to the Promised Land. And here “they beheld the sea, which we called IRREANTUM, which, being interpreted is many waters.” (l Nephi 17:5)  After crossing the mountains, the family saw ‘Irreantum’ or ‘many waters,’ The entire southern coast of Arabia sits on the Indian Ocean. (Potter p. 1250  Here, as was rarely done, the name is spelled out and given an interpretation, which suggests that the meaning given to the name by Lehi’s group varies in some way or degree to how the name may have been anciently used. But it tells something about what they saw when they arrived at a place called Bountiful. (Bushman p. 85)  To them it meant ‘many waters’.  Implicit in the meaning is it meant ‘large waters’.  A large ocean was before them; apparently the Arabian Sea. (Largey p. 339; Hilton pp. 40, 44, 106) And here they did pitch their “tents by the seashore.” (l Nephi 17:5-6) “The prophet Joseph Smith is quoted as saying that ‘Lehi went down by the Red Sea to the great Southern Ocean, and crossed over to this land,’ meaning America.” (Hilton p. 40; Smith p. 267) It nearly overwhelmed them when they understood they were to build a boat and launch it on the ‘many waters’.  An ancient Mesoamerican Tradition contained in the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, tells that the ancients came by boat and were those ‘who named the land because no one had arrived here in this neck of the land when we arrived here.” (Roys p. 72)

The IRR, double consonant elements, the prefix in the name IRREANTUM, can mean ‘he [or she] got’. (Pagan p. 339)  Abbreviated to IR-, in the name IRIGAAR (Pagan p. 52) from Ebla, the meaning is ‘generous’, Lehi wanted us to know he used the name to mean ‘many’, which is not too great a stretch from ‘generous’. The usage of double consonants in names is of ancient origin, and has been discussed before in these studies; the suffix ending of TUM stipulates it as feminine. The ‘many waters’ are therefore considered feminine; a correct usage. The nearly matching name from Ebla, IRRIATUM, means ‘suburb’, or in another Ebla name IRRISATUM, means ‘request’, (Fronzaroli p. 143)  in keeping with ‘he or [she] got’.

In the Book of Mormon, however, it had to be stipulated just how the name was being used, suggesting it may not be exactly as it was used anciently.  Pagan does not give a meaning to the Ebla name of IRRA, (Pagan pp. 337, 339), merely confirming that the double consonant of IRR was not uncommon 2250 BC; thus affirming the Book of Mormon usage is correct. The use of the prefix in the Ebla name of IRIGAAR, meaning ‘generous’ confirms the Book of Mormon usage where Lehi wanted the name to mean ‘many’.   

IRRITUM, an Ebla name, is very close to the Book of Mormon name and used as a place name. It is the name of a city mentioned on one of the tablets from Ebla, along with other known cities such as Harran. (Fronzaroli  p. 233)

“And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which being interpreted is many waters.” (l Nephi 17:5)  ‘Many waters’ is a typical Egyptian designation (that is the meaning for Fayyum, [a fertile depression in the west desert of Egypt] in fact) but what about ‘Irreantum’? It is not a Semitic name, and Lehi even goes to the trouble of translating it. It has recently been shown that one of the more common Egyptian names for the Red Sea was IRAU, [but] which is not Egyptian. and the meaning of which is unknown. That would take care of the ‘IRRE-’ element in Lehi’s name, while ‘antum’ can be matched by two characteristic Egyptian forms, INY-T and ‘ANJT’,  both describing large bodies of water, the former possibly the Gulf of Suez, and the later the ‘waters of Busiris,’ on the other hand, since IARU has never been explained, could it be related to the old Indo-European word for “sea,” the Hittite form of which is arunash? Arunash corresponds closely enough with IRRE-AN-TI (UM), but we won’t include it among our more valid parallel since we throw it in just for fun.” (Nibley pp. 195-96) Nibley’s studies were made long before the new tablets shed more light on the names.  Lehi may have been drawing on his Egyptian connection to come up with the name given in the Book of Mormon. But he stretched it, he knew he was doing so, and he so indicated. But there is also some Hebrew in the name. The prefix of IRA- was well known in Biblical times, and still is popular today, it was especially popular  during the time of David. (Samuel 20:26, 23:26, 23:38). There IRA means ‘wakefulness’, (Mandel p. 215) all the more reason for Lehi to tell how he was going to use the name in a precise way. Nibley wrote before the translation of Ebla names, which are a Semitic form, and therefore was unaware when he wrote of the parallels that would emerge with continuing archaeological excavations and discoveries, but what he said was mostly right and very interesting.

Fronzaroli lists additional names from Ebla tablets without giving any meaning for them that include the prefixes IR or IRA;  IRILUM, IRIBSAMU, IRANMALIK, IRANE, IRANDAAR, IRAZIL, IRAMU, IRAZI, (Fronzaroli pp. 242-249), showing the prefix IR- and IRA- were popular and used quite often around 2250 BC, and retained thereafter.  


There are about six names in the Book of Mormon that are unique or have unique aspects to them. However, no names beginning with J are listed either by Pagan or Fronzaroli, though between them they provide many names, there may still be some tablets not translated or not found as yet that would yield names starting with J.


KIB is a name in the genealogy of Jared. In fact he was the grandson of Jared, (Ether 1:32), the son of Orihah the youngest son of Jared. (Largey p. 431)  The name is therefore ancient, and when first found in recovered Jewish records dating to before 600 BC, recovered from digging at Elephantine in Egypt, it suggests a long history of preservation and usage. (Porten p. 141)  This name has been discussed in detail in a previous study. (Erickson 18 Feb. 2005)  The name means ‘honored’.  The name from Ebla, KIBI, is almost an exact match, it means ‘trustworthy’.  Some sixteen hundred years separate the occurrence and use of the name by the Jaredites at the time of Ebla and its use by Jewish mercenaries in Egypt before 600 BC, but the meaning is close enough. It was this name found in Porten’s book that kicked off all of the efforts to study names from all the sources that could be found. Ty B. Erickson prepared an early draft of all of the names, including KIB, in 1976, which was deposited with FARMS at BYU, but it was too early for a definitive study of Book of Mormon names, so nothing has been done with it, though at the time there was a person interested in name research, their effort has never matured. Now we resume the name studies because of newly and recently published information has become available. Ty wrote in 1976. Most of the tablets from which name parallels would be recovered had been found or soon after were found but were not translated until twenty years later. And most name translations would not become available until after 1984. This present effort did not start until 2004, only after significant other name lists had also become available.


KISH appears first in Ether l:18, as a Jaredite King, and is listed as the 30th  descendant from Jared in the genealogy of Jared. (Largey p. 431)  Among the familiar cities at the time of EBLA was an ancient city to the south near Babylon. One tablet talks about an individual “who went from Mari [a city State south of Ebla] to Ebla or went to Kis, [Kish] from Mari.” (Fronzaroli p. 75)  Because the name KISH shows up in many forms and names in the Book of Mormon there is no doubt that the Jaredites knew about these sources. There was a City of KISH, a famous family and Kingdom of Kish, ancient stories about Kish and so much other data that shows clearly there was a Jaredite connection of considerable intimacy with that ancient Kingdom. This subject and the name are included in an earlier presentation in this Series. (Erickson, 4 Aug 2005) 

KISHKUMEN first appears in Hel. l:9. He was a murderer and closely associated with the GADIANTONS, (Hel. 2:3; 6:18), in fact he was their leader. (Hel l:9) the name is also that of one of the wicked cities destroyed at the time of Christ. (3 Nephi 9:10)  The name is also one of those previously discussed in these Web Site studies.

In the names from EBLA, the prefix, KIS (Which is an abbreviation for KISH) is given the meaning of  ‘gift’. (Pagan p. 343)  The EBLA names  KISADU means ‘gift’, and KISAALUM, means ‘granted by Harraum’.  So it seems to be used to mean ‘gift’ or ‘granted’, which are very close. (Pagan p. 343)


KUMEN first appears in 3 Nephi 19:4, KUMENONHI also appears in that reference.  Like most of the Book of Mormon names, no meaning is given. Both of these men were members of the Nephite Quorum of twelve. The prefix KU- in the many names at Ebla that have it, has the meaning  ‘be true’. (Pagan pp. 343-344)  The prefix at Ebla is in two forms, KU- and  KUN-, both forms mean the same thing.  The form utilized in the Book of Mormon is KU-, almost thirty names in the Ebla lists have this prefix form. (Pagan 344)  In the ancient SUMERIAN name of KUBABA, the meaning is ‘pure’. KUBABA was the name of an ancient queen of KISH. (Baker p. 630) The EBLA name of KUTILUM means ‘be true, Tilum’. (Pagan p. 344). There are twenty names in the EBLA lists where the prefix KUN is interchangeable with KUM, with no change in meaning. (Pagan p. 344)  In nearly all of these names the meaning of KUM is ‘be true’. KUN-(KUM) MALIK is one of those and it means  ‘be true, Malik’. (Pagan p. 344) Elsewhere in these studies the use of suffixes with ‘M’ or ‘UM’, is called  mimation, especially found in Jaredites names, mimation has also been discussed in detail. (Nibley p. 98) Another form of the prefix, using only KU in the name, such as in the EBLA name KUKUIL, the name still means ‘be true Il’, here the prefix is doubled. 

Phonetically the name would sound different, but still retains its simple meaning.

So, in the Book of Mormon, the prefix has been used properly. A stunning example of a complex prefix of ancient occurrence.

Nibley compared KUMEN to the HITTIITE city of KUMANI. (Nibley p. 33) A future study comparing HITTITE names with the Book of Mormon names is in progress.

The Book of Mormon name,  KUMENONHI contains the construct elements  NH’, an authentic verbal element meaning ‘to answer’ and found among names of the MURASU DOCUMENTS. (Cogan, p. 81) 


LABAN appears in Genesis 24:29, as the name of the son of a nephew, Bethuel, of Abraham. Laban was the father-in-law of Isaac and also the father-in-law of Jacob, both marrying daughters of this sly and greedy man, who had settled with his family in the town of Haran, situated in the south of today’s Turkey.  In Hebrew the name means ‘white’. (Mandel pp. 324-326)  The Ebla records shows that the name was in use nearly 600 years before appearing in the genealogy of Abraham. However, no doubt the editors of the Book of Mormon included Laban, he was from the tribe of Manasseh, from whom they had to obtain the Brass Plates, even at the cost of the death of Laban. (Largey pp. 488-490) 

There is an exact match in the name from Ebla, LABAN, which means   ‘White’, the name has an –AN ending, which means ‘one’, so the Ebla name of LABAN-AN means ‘the white one’. (Pagan p. 345)  At Ebla there is also the abbreviated prefix name of ‘LABA’, (Pagan p. 345) used this way the name means ‘great’.  Since the Book of Mormon uses the whole name of LABAN, a match to the Ebla name, LABAN, then the meaning would be ‘white’.


LAMAN is the eldest son of Lehi, after which the Lamanite Peoples of the Book of Mormon are named. (l Nephi 2:12; Largey p. 492)  Besides this son of Lehi, there were three others with this name:  The Lamanite King Laman who covenanted with Zeniff that he could occupy the cities and lands of Lehi-Nehi and Shilom. (Mosiah 7:21; Largey p. 493) LAMAN, the son of LAMAN, King of the Lamanites, illustrating a case of papponymy, which occurs often in the Book of Mormon following ancient customs (Erickson 23 Feb 2005), and LAMAN, one of Captain Moroni’s men, who worked with Moroni on a strategy to recapture the city of Gid. (Largey p. 493; Alma 4:24, 55:16-17)

LAMAN was also the name of a river. (l Nephi 2:5-9)  It was also the name of a wicked city burned in the catastrophic events that accompanied Christ’s crucifixion in the old world. (3 Nephi 9:10-11)   The name means ‘why God?’, or ‘haughty’, or ‘the lofty one’. All very descriptive of LAMAN, the eldest son of Lehi. (Pagan p. 345)


LIB is a Jaredite name and appears first in Ether l:17, and is thirty-first in the list of descendants of Jared. (Largey 431) He was the son of KISH another name found in the records of Ebla as noted above. He obtained his throne through the use of Secret Combinations. He was defeated on the plains of Agosh, (Largey p. 320) during the last great conflicts of the Jaredites. (Ether 14:10-17) At Ebla the names written as LIB, LIBA-AD or LIBA-SU, all have the same meaning: ‘compensation’.  LIB is the shortened form of the two Ebla names. If one looks at the list of Jaredite names, one sees the tendency for the Jaredites to use short and abbreviated or shortened versions of names. (Largey p. 431)  So again, we have a match. How could such matches have been accomplished if the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction?  


LIMHAH was a military leader who with his ten thousand were all killed in the great battle at Cumorah. (Mormon 6:14)  LIMHER is mentioned in Alma 2:73 along with Amnor and Manti.  LIMHI  was the son of wicked king Noah who was responsible for the death of Abinadi. He was also the grandson of Zeniff who had led an expedition to find a group who had left Zarahemla around 200 BC.  Some of the events of his life are repeated in the accounts found in Mosiah 7-8, and in the Chronological Record of Zeniff in Mosiah 9-22. (Largey p. 522)  He figures in the famous stories of Ammon, the twenty-four golden plates, and finally the return of his people safely to Zarahemla who, being taught by Alma, were baptized. (Mosiah 23:17-18).  LIMNAH is one of the units of weight and measures of the Nephite systems discussed by Alma. (Alma 11:5, 10) See also Erickson 9 March 2005. It is also a Hebrew word which means ‘to count or weight’ (Jasclared, p. 134)  

The two names from Ebla are nearly the same in meaning. They have the prefix LIM, which meanslove’. (Pagan p. 346)  The same prefix is in all of the Book of Mormon names. All of the names, both Book of Mormon and from Ebla, have suffix endings. In the case of the Ebla names, one the suffix ending is one of the most familiar of the many Gods: DAGAN. So the meaning of the Ebla names is ‘DAGAN is love’.  It would be like saying, ‘GOD is Love’.  They also have the meaning ‘DAGAN is LIM’, which of course means the same thing  DAGAN is LOVE’. (Pagan p. 346) The suffix ending of the Book of Mormon name LIMHAH is -HAH, which means ‘passionate’. So the name could mean ‘passionate is love’ or ‘love is passionate’. (Pagan p. 3160. In what is available, the suffix ending for LIM-HER is not found as yet. The suffix ending for LIM-HI is found in the Ebla names to mean ‘first’ or ‘friend’. So LIMHI could mean ‘love is friend’ or ‘love is first’.  (Pagan p. 318)  The suffix in the name LIM-NAH can mean either ‘grace’ or ‘shining’. (Pagan 352)  These matches again point out how accurate and frequent the tablets from EBLA confirm Book of Mormon names. 

LIMHI is a hypocoristicon of the theophoric name LIMHIAH.  Names ending in an ‘–l’ are commonly found in the MARASU DOCUMENTS. (Erickson 15 April 2005)   LIM is also listed as an AMORITE deity as well as individual names. (Gelb p. 619)  This god is honored in the names of all three non-Assyrian rulers of MARI, a trading state with EBLA, during the Babylonian period. The probable explanation of the name was suggested to refer collectively to ‘thousand’. (Huffman p. 226)  Remember that this prefix, LIM is of ancient origins, found on tablets older than 2250 BC from a long buried city rediscovered in 1976. As in all cases of tablet discoveries, Joseph Smith did not have access to them or their translation which came more than a century and-a-half after his time.


LURAM is mentioned in the Book of Mormon as one of the fallen in the last great battles. “For behold, I have had a sore battle with the Lamanites, in which we did not conquer, and Archeantus has fallen by the sword, and also LURAM  and Emron; yea, and we have lost a great number of our choice men.” (Moroni 9:2)   Except for this brief reference we do not know more about these fallen warriors, apparently choice men and brave, that gave their lives in this great struggle; LURAM was one of them.

The prefix LU-, most of the time, means ‘splendor’. (Pagan p. 346)  The two names LUAI-l(NI), and LU-A-MALIK, from EBLA, mean, ‘Il is splendor’ and ‘Malik is splendor’. (Pagan p. 346)  Pagan lists more than 40 names with the prefix LU-, including the King names of LUGAL, where LU- means ‘light’, not too far off from ‘splendor’. (Pagan 347)  LUGAL means ‘King of light’. Fronzaroli lists additional names. (Fronzaroli p. 245)  

EBLATAIC, the language of EBLA,  is related to West Semitic and is associated with Proto-Aramaic (Weiss p. 38), where, in some names, the suffix -RAM or RAMA, means ‘Exalted’; in some much later names, particular Hebrew,  it means ‘thrown’. (Baker p 1031) This could mean that the Book of Mormon name of LURAM, means ‘Exalted splendor’, a compatible meaning of the two elements, reflecting the meaning of the name at the earlier days of EBLA usage. The name LURAM, could then have come from the records of Ether and the Jaredites. However, the northern members of the ten tribes at the early stages of their settlements were in contact with The West Semitic Amorites, and thus, the name could also have crept into the Brass Plates. The point, of course, is that it is a real name! And an ancient one. It should also be noted that RAM- was also one of the most important suffixes of the Egyptian Nineteenth Dynasty of the Ramesses Pharaohs . (Leick p. 134; Payne pp. 178-179)  So it could have been in Lehi or Nephi’s writings.

PART 5 of this series will continue with the names that begin with ‘M’ and will soon be added to the Web Site.


BAKER, Heather D., The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, Vol. 2I H-K, The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, University of Helsinki, 2000

………………………………………………………………………….Vol. 3/I, P-S, The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, University of Helsinki, 2002

BUSHMAN, Richard Lyman, Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling, Alfred Knopf, New York,  2005

COGAN, Michael D., West Semitic Personal Names in Murasu Documents,  Edwards Brother, Inc., Ann Abor, 1976  

COLE, William A, & Elwin W. Jensen, Israel in the Pacific, Cole,  Publishers Press, 1961

CRYER, Tom, The Visual Testament, Tom Cryer, 1999

ERICKSON, Einar C., Elephantine Name Parallels, 18 Feb 2005. Web Site.

……………………….The Ancient Kingdom of Kish, the Jaredites and the Brass Plates, Web Site, 4 Aug 2005

……………………….Weights and Measures Gold, Silver and Barley, 9 Mar 2005

………………………Murasu of Nippur and the Book of Mormon, Web Site 15 April 2005

HIILTON, Lynn M., and Hope, In Search of Lehi’s Trail, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah 1976

FRONZAROLI, Pelio, Studies in the Language of Ebla, Quaderni Di Semitistica 13, Istituto Di Linguisitica E Di Lingue Orientali, Universita’ De Firenze, 1984

HUFFMAN, Herbert, Amorite Personal Names in the Mari Texts, John Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1965

JASCLARED,  Paul R., A Comparison of the Nephite Monetary System with the Egyptian System of Measuring Grain, Newsletter and Proceeding of the S.E.H. A., October 1973

LARGEY, Dennis L., Book of Mormon Reference Companion, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah 2003

LEICK, Gwendolyn, Who’s Who in the Ancient Near East, Rutledge, London, 1999

MALOTKI, Eklkehart & Michael Lomatuway’ma, Massau: Profile of a Hopi God, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1987

MANDEL, David, Who’s Who in Tanakh, Ariel Books, Savyon, Israel, 2004

MARTINEAU, LaVan, Southern Paiutes: Legends, Lore, Language and Lineage, KE Publications, Las Vegas, Nevada 1992

MILLER, Wick R., Newe Natekwiinappeh: Shoshoni Stories and Dictionary, Anthropological Papers, Number 94, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 1972

NIBLEY, Hugh, Lehi in the Desert & the World of the Jaredites, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1976  

PAGAN, Joseph Martin, A Morphological And Lexical Study of Personal Names in the Ebla Texts, Archivi Reali Di Ebla, Studi III, Mission Archaeological Itallina in Siria, University of Egli studi Di Roma, La Sapienza, 1998

PAYNE, Elizabeth,  The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, Random House, New York, 1964

PETTINATO,  Giovanni, Ebla: A new Look at History, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1991

PORTEN, Bazalel, Archives from Elephatine, University of California, Berkeley, 1968

POTTER, George, & Richard Wellington, Lehi in the Wilderness, Cedar Fort, Springville, Utah 2003

ROYS, Ralph L., The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1967

SMITH, Joseph Fielding, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Deseret Book Company,  Salt Lake City, Utah 1976.

STEWARD, Julian H., Basin-Plateau Aboriginal Sociopolitical Groups, Smithsonian Institution, BAE Bulletin 1210, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington 1938

WEISS, Harvey , Ed. Ebla to Damascus, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. 1985

WILSON,  Clifford, The Impact of Ebla on Bible Records, Word of Truth Productions, Melbourne, Australia, 1977

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